Tuesday, June 7, 2016


We are in the middle of a huge change in our family.  Empty nest some call it.  Me?  It’s called a quiet house, okay quieter, dinners for two and lots less laundry!

Muff is headed off the Army bootcamp, Alec and Kristine are headed to MO.  What will I do with all my "spare" time?

We sat through Muff’s graduation a week ago.  Listened to two valedictorians and one salutatorian.  Very accomplished kids with 4.4 and higher gpa's.  They are headed to Harvard, Texas and U of I, full ride scholarships, double majors, going to be great and save the world. 

I’m sorry, I truly believe they will flourish in their chosen fields, no doubts.  But during their speeches, I heard lots about being doctors, lawyers and scientists.   I heard about making the world better, solving all our problems and having it all planned out.  I heard about kids that did excel in school, but I also heard of lot of "I" and "Me".  What I didn’t hear was their connection to their entire class.   It was about the 1% that never got a below an A. What I didn’t hear, was that regardless of what you intended to do out of high school, that you matter.  You may go to be an auto mechanic, a beautician, bookkeeper or a soldier.   But regardless of what you do, you matter and you will make a difference….in your own life and we hope, the lives of others.   

Those are supposed to be inspirational speeches, encouraging the class to go out, make the world their own.  I saw lots of yawns.  I saw kids who had not idea who the person sitting next to them was.  And kids that still had no idea what they wanted to do.  Where are the offering of words of wisdom or encouragement to the entire graduating class, just the 1%?  

We don’t all have to go to an ivy league college, get a 4.0, scholarships and awards from every organization.  We do though, need to feel wanted, that we can and will contribute to society and take pride in what we chose to do.

I hope that I have instilled in my children that what they do with their lives is not as much for themselves but that their choices are a benefit for others.  I pray that it is more than a simple career choice but a dedicated path they take that allows them to make a difference in someone else’s life.  That in and of itself will be worth more than money, fame and glory.   

So for you, the top of the class graduates, stop for a moment and wonder, where would you be giving that speech if the person hadn’t poured the concrete, the mechanic hadn’t fixed the wheel bearing on your car, the soldier hadn’t protected your right to freely speak and the farmer hadn’t grown the food you’ll be sharing at your party later on.   It’s not all about square roots, chemical compositions and following the letter of the law.  

I think as the time of last child’s journey to adulthood comes close, I’ve proudly participated in all their journey’s and hope my involvement encourages them to stay involved in life experiences and continue on throughout their adult lives, living a life of service and a life of love.  And that they know they can't do it without a contribution from everyone they meet.  Society can't function with out each person's contribution.

What a blessing my kids have been.  I’m doing the “omg my baby’s graduating and moving away".  I reflect on how my children have changed me for the better as well as what I’ve hopefully instilled in each one.   Empty nest?  Gosh I hope not.   I hope that they know they are always welcome to come home but just call first!   I might need to defrost more for dinner, this cooking for two thing will take some getting used to and I doubt I'll have lots of left overs in the fridge .

Just sayin'......


penni said...

It takes some getting used to, it requires adjusting to the new distance to closeness. You'll love parts of it, you'll still be the cheerleader.

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